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Best Console and PC - The Legend of Zelda: The Skyward Sword

Best Console/PC

Second Place

Third Place

The Legend of Zelda series has given us plenty to enjoy for more than 25 years. However, the last entry left many of us feeling like the series was getting a bit long in the tooth. Thankfully, Skyward Sword swiftly dispels this notion. Featuring new controls which take full advantage of the Wii Motion Plus, Skyward Sword features swordplay unlike that in any other game. With precise and responsive motion input, many of us will find it difficult playing older Zelda games any other way.

Skyward Sword has more surprises than just the controls, of course. Featuring a fully orchestrated soundtrack for the first time, the music is by far the most impressive in the series. The visuals stand out as well. Featuring a style that mixes the colorful world of Wind Waker with the look and feel of Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword proves to be one of the best-looking games on the Wii. Although the continued lack of voice acting is disappointing, the charming written dialogue adds to the setting. The dungeons are some of the best in the series, many requiring all the tools you've squired on your journey instead of just the one you found in that particular area. Beyond that, the overworld areas themselves now resemble dungeons, with plenty of enemies, puzzles, and extra secrets to discover. Skyward Sword proves the Zelda series still has what it takes to impress us in an era full of exploration-based, open world games.

While the two runner ups didn't grab nearly as much quantifiable staff love as Zelda, their efforts are still impressive. Adam Jensen and his cybernetic augmentations had us looking all over the world in the hope of uncovering conspiracies and duct vents. Meanwhile, the cute little adventurer Totori had us searching the world for alchemy ingredients while learning some tough lessons about growing up. Standing in stark contrast to each other, these two games show how diverse the genre's successes have grown over the years.

by Mike Apps and Michael Cunningham

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